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new_rules_require_providers_to_report_lung_injuries_within_3_daysNew Rules Require Providers to Report Lung Injuries Within 3 DaysLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/October/new_rules_require_providers_to_report_lung_injuries_within_3_days<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img alt="teen vaping" src="/images/Concepts/tobacco_vaping_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>October 16, 2019</h5> <h2>New Rules Require Physicians to Report Lung Injuries Within 3 Days</h2> <p> The Washington State Board of Health has released new rules for physicians and health care providers related to a multi-state outbreak of lung injury associated with vapor products. As of Oct. 8, almost 1,300 cases have been identified from 49 states, including 26 deaths. Seven cases have been identified in Washington, with additional cases under investigation. </p> <p> On Sept. 27, Gov. Jay Inslee issued Executive Order 19-03: <a href="https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/exe_order/19-03 - Addressing the Vaping Public Health Crisis %28tmp%29.pdf" target="_blank">Addressing the Vaping Use Public Health Crisis</a>, and the health board issued emergency rules on Oct. 9. Among other actions, the rules require health care providers to report cases of lung injury to local health authorities within three business days. This will help public health quickly learn of cases and work to identify the cause(s) of this lung injury. The Washington State Department of Health has released <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1500/820-080-GuidelinesforCliniciansVapingLungInjury.docx">reporting guidelines for clinicians</a>, which will be updated as the agency learns more. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6841e3.htm?s_cid=mm6841e3_w">interim guidance for evaluating and caring for patients with suspected e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury</a>. Questions may be directed to <a href="mailto:vapingresponse@doh.wa.gov">vapingresponse@doh.wa.gov</a>. </p> </div>10/16/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
WSMA_Presents_Patient_Safety_Award_to_Community_Health_Center_of_Snohomish_CountyWSMA Presents Patient Safety Award to Community Health Center of Snohomish CountyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/October/WSMA_Presents_Patient_Safety_Award_to_Community_Health_Center_of_Snohomish_County<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>October 15, 2019</h5> <h2> WSMA Presents Patient Safety Award to Community Health Center of Snohomish County</h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - The Community Health Center of Snohomish County has been recognized by the Washington State Medical Association for its program to expand access to treatment for patients with opioid use disorder. The health center was presented the William O. Robertson, MD Patient Safety Award of Excellence on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the medical association's annual meeting at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center in SeaTac. </p> <p> Recognizing that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has repeatedly been shown to be safe and effective for patients with opioid use disorder, and that there was a dearth of medical providers who had the necessary training to provide the treatment, the health center set out to establish a comprehensive MAT program. As part of the program, the health center: </p> <ul> <li> Required primary care providers who see adult patients to complete MAT waiver training. </li> <li> Developed a MAT reporting and tracking system. </li> <li> Redesigned its MAT intake process to use a team-based approach so that the patient meets with an RN, a chemical dependency specialist, and then the physician. </li> <li> Reduced stigma often attached to opioid use disorder by encouraging its providers to think about their patients with OUD in the same way they think about patients with diabetes. </li> </ul> <p> The health center currently has 482 active patients on MAT, and that number grows by approximately 20 each month. “These community members are no longer using opioids and are at lower risk for HIV, Hep B and C, syphilis, and TB,” said WSMA Past President Donna Smith, MD, when presenting the award during a dinner celebration at the meeting. “They are starting to put their lives back together.” </p> <p> Accepting the award on behalf of the health center was Thomas Tocher, MD, a WSMA-member and an internist with the health center. </p> <p> The WSMA established its William O. Robertson, MD Patient Safety Awards in 2005 to recognize and share innovative patient safety initiatives in the ambulatory care setting. The award was named after another WSMA past president, the late Dr. William O. Robertson, who was a champion for patient safety, risk management, and quality improvement throughout his long and distinguished career. </p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /> <br /> Graham Short<br /> WSMA Associate Director of Communications<br /> 206.956.3633  <br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a></p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents nearly 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>10/15/2019 11:26:13 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Representative_Harris_Receives_Legislator_of_The_Year_Award_from_State_Medical_AssociationRepresentative Harris Receives Legislator of The Year Award from State Medical AssociationLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/October/Representative_Harris_Receives_Legislator_of_The_Year_Award_from_State_Medical_Association<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>October 15, 2019</h5> <h2> Representative Harris Receives Legislator of The Year Award from State Medical Association</h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - Representative Paul Harris, representing the 17th Legislative District, serving eastern Vancouver and parts of southwest Clark County, has been named 2019 Legislator of the Year by the Washington State Medical Association for his support of the association's 2019 legislative efforts. He received the award from WSMA Past President Nick Rajacich, MD, on Saturday, Oct. 12 during the association’s annual meeting in SeaTac. </p> <p> Each year the WSMA, the largest professional physician organization in the state, honors a legislator whose knowledge and influence help to make Washington one of the best states in the nation to practice medicine and receive care. Rep. Harris’ accomplishments of relevance to the WSMA include: </p> <ul> <li> Prime sponsorship of legislation removing the personal/philosophical exemption for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Despite well-organized opposition, he worked diligently with his colleagues across the aisle to shepherd the passage of this bill. </li> <li> Prime sponsorship of legislation raising the purchasing age of tobacco to age 21. Rep. Harris led the multi-year effort in the state Legislature on this WSMA priority public health issue. </li> </ul> <p> Rep. Harris also supported the WSMA and Washington physicians by opposing legislation that would have negative repercussions for patients’ access to care as well as physician practices, including: </p> <ul> <li> Legislation imposing a 20 percent surcharge on the business and occupation professional services tax paid by independent physician practices. </li> <li> Legislation expanding exposure to liability for physicians, physician assistants, medical group practices and other providers by broadening who can sue in cases of wrongful death and what types of damages they can recover. </li> </ul> <p> “The WSMA can count on Representative Harris to consider the impact of legislation and budget issues on Washington’s physician community,” said Dr. Rajacich, who chairs WAMPAC, the association’s political action committee. “Overall, the advocacy and leadership demonstrated by Rep. Harris on issues impacting public health and practicing physicians was unrivaled during the 2019 legislative session.” </p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /> <br /> Graham Short<br /> WSMA Associate Director of Communications<br /> 206.956.3633  <br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a></p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents nearly 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>10/15/2019 11:25:22 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Washington_State_Medical_Association_Recognizes_Member_Physicians_for_Exemplary_ServiceWashington State Medical Association Recognizes Member Physicians for Exemplary ServiceLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/October/Washington_State_Medical_Association_Recognizes_Member_Physicians_for_Exemplary_Service<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>October 15, 2019</h5> <h2> Washington State Medical Association Recognizes Member Physicians for Exemplary Service</h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - Seven physician members and one community program have been recognized by the Washington State Medical Association for going above and beyond the call of duty in leadership, contributions, and service to the health of the profession and our citizens. The recognitions were part of the medical association's new "Apple Awards," program, and the awards were presented at the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting in SeaTac on Saturday, Oct. 12. </p> <p> Recipients of the 2019 Apple Awards included: </p> <p> <strong>Darryl Potyk, MD</strong>, Spokane internist, received the President’s Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the WSMA member who offers extraordinary service to the profession to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. Dr. Potyk is the chief of medical education for UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership and associate dean for Eastern Washington for the UW School of Medicine. </p> <p> <strong>Matthew Grierson, MD</strong>, Seattle physiatrist, received the Early Career Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a WSMA member for their service to the association’s early career members (physicians in their first 10 years of practice, resident physicians, and medical students). Dr. Grierson practices at the Seattle Spine & Sports Medicine clinic. </p> <p> Five WSMA members received the Grassroots Advocate Award, which recognizes their advocacy efforts and activities supporting WSMA legislative priorities. They include: </p> <p> <strong>Avanti Bergquist, MD</strong>, Bellevue psychiatrist, for her support of mental health priorities; <strong>James Burkman, MD</strong>, Seattle anesthesiologist, for his work helping the association find a solution protecting patients from unnecessary balance bills; <strong>Lucinda Grande, MD</strong>, Olympia family physician, for her advocacy around opioid use disorder treatment; <strong>Alan Melnick, MD</strong>, Vancouver preventative medicine physician and Clark County public health officer, for his support of childhood immunizations; and <strong>Chelsea Unruh, MD</strong>, Olympia family physician, for their support of issues impacting independent physician practices. </p> <p> The seventh Apple Award, the Community Unsung Hero Award, recognizes community contributions to the health and wellness of our state’s citizens and was presented to Pierce County Project Access. PCPA received the award in recognition of its mission to provide donated care for patients in need in Pierce County. </p> <p> “Our members are heroes every day in our book,” said WSMA’s outgoing 2019 president, Tom Schaaf, MD, who presented the awards during the opening session of the association’s annual House of Delegates at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. “That’s why we created these Apple Awards—to really call out the ‘extra’ in the extraordinary work Washington’s physicians are doing, each and every day.”<br /> <br /> Photos of the award presentations from the meeting are available upon request (email <a href="mailto:katiehoward@wsma.org">katiehoward@wsma.org</a>) and will be available from the<a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Awards_Program/Awards_Program.aspx"> WSMA's Awards Program page</a>.</p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /> <br /> Graham Short<br /> WSMA Associate Director of Communications<br /> 206.956.3633  <br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a></p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents nearly 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>10/15/2019 10:54:42 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Tacoma_Gastroenterologist_Named_President_of_State_Medical_AssociationTacoma Gastroenterologist Named President of State Medical AssociationLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/October/Tacoma_Gastroenterologist_Named_President_of_State_Medical_Association<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>October 14, 2019</h5> <h2> Tacoma Gastroenterologist Named President of State Medical Association </h2> <p> Seattle, Wash. - Tacoma gastroenterologist William "Bill" Hirota, MD, was named president of the Washington State Medical Association at the association's annual meeting in SeaTac on Sunday, Oct. 13. The WSMA represents physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students throughout Washington state. </p> <p> Dr. Hirota practices at Franciscan Digestive Care Associates in Tacoma and sees patients at Tacoma-area hospitals St. Clare, St. Joseph and Multicare. He is primarily affiliated with CHI Franciscan health care system </p> <p> Dr. Hirota received his medical doctorate degree in 1990 from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C., supporting his education by joining the U.S. Army to be part of the Health Professionals Scholarship Program. Dr. Hirota followed his primary medical education with an internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, also in D.C. </p> <p> By 2000, he’d completed his Army obligations at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Ft. Lewis and started in private practice in Tacoma. Dr. Hirota served in various leadership roles while in the Army, including chief of special care and chief of internal medicine service. After moving to Tacoma, he served as the president of the Pierce County Medical Society and chair of Franciscan’s medical executive committee. He joined WSMA’s executive committee in 2014 after serving several years on the association’s board of trustees. </p> <p> The following physicians were also elected as officers at the meeting: Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, Tacoma emergency physician, president-elect; Mika Sinanan, MD, PhD, Seattle surgeon, 1st vice president; Katina Rue, DO, Yakima osteopathic physician, 2nd vice president; Nariman Heshmati, MD, Mukilteo OB/GYN, secretary-treasurer; John Bramhall, MD, Seattle anesthesiologist, assistant secretary-treasurer. The seventh officer of WSMA’s executive committee is past-president Tom Schaaf, MD, MHA, Spokane geriatrician, who will serve as committee chair. </p> <p> <a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Press Room/Hirota.Bill_2019_3024x4032.jpg]">Download a photo of Dr. Hirota</a>.</p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /> <br /> Graham Short<br /> WSMA Associate Director of Communications<br /> 206.956.3633  <br /> <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a></p> <p><strong>About the WSMA</strong></p> <p>The Washington State Medical Association represents nearly 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.</p> </div>10/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_october_14_2019_together_we_will_do_moreWeekly Rounds: October 14, 2019 - Together, we will do moreLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_october_14_2019_together_we_will_do_more<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-Hirota-645x425px.png" class="pull-right" alt="Weekly Rounds logo featuring Bill Hirota, MD" /></div> <h5>October 14, 2019</h5> <h2>Together, we will do more</h2> <p> <em>Yesterday at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates, we inaugurated our incoming president, Bill Hirota, MD. For those of you who couldn't be with us, we wanted you to have the opportunity to read an amended version of his speech, so he is our guest columnist this week for Weekly Rounds.<br /> - Jennifer Hanscom, WSMA CEO</em> </p> <p> <strong>Bill Hirota, MD, WSMA 2019-20 incoming president's speech, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, 9 a.m. at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.</strong> </p> <p> Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice Speaker, members of the House of Delegates, colleagues, and friends, it is my honor to have this opportunity to serve as president of the WSMA. </p> <p> I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you who are here this morning. </p> <p> I can think of three reasons why you might have made a different choice: </p> <ul> <li>It's a Sunday and likely your day off. </li> <li>It's early and you could have slept in.</li> <li>You could be watching the Seahawks vs. Browns game at 10 a.m. </li> </ul> <p> To tell you a little about myself: I have been a full-time practicing gastroenterologist in Pierce County for over 20 years and have been involved in organized medicine at the county and state level for more than 12 years. </p> <p> For those of you who may be interested to know more about my personal background, please see the article in the latest edition of WSMA Reports. If you have already read that article, you'll learn that the most important people in my life are my family. My wife, Emillie, my mother and father, and my daughter, Jesse. </p> <p> Jesse couldn't be here today because she's in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she's studying to be a doctor of veterinary medicine. My father could also not make it due to health reasons, but my wife and my mother are here, and I'd like to thank them for being my moral compasses and continued source of inspiration, love, and support. </p> <p> And now, with these privileged moments together, I want to share lessons learned from my own health care experiences and outline reasons why the WSMA matters to our profession. </p> <p> As you know, our vision at the WSMA is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. </p> <p> It's no surprise to any of us that we will all take our turn at being a patient now or in the future. As for me, I had my own health care crisis in 2013 that highlights lessons I've learned that make me a deeply committed advocate for this goal. </p> <p> Long story short, I had a significant health event that required the attention of physician colleagues and friends, who didn't hesitate to step up and provide me with top-quality care. And because I am blessed with excellent social determinants of health, I received the support, kindness, and patience of my administrators, staff, and practice partners along my path to recovery. </p> <p> Why am I sharing this personal experience? To remind you that what you do matters. If not for the excellent care I received, I wouldn't be standing here as your president today. </p> <p> Here's what I learned from that experience: </p> <ul> <li>Always have a primary care provider. If I'd had one, he or she just might have been able to prevent this from happening.</li> <li>It's good to know some doctors! I learned I could call upon my friends and colleagues, and they will be there. </li> <li>Love your family and friends. They are what's important in life and help provide the foundation for what we can achieve.</li> </ul> <p> And now for why the WSMA matters. </p> <p> Another thing you might like to know about me…I've participated in sports as a player, trainer, coach, and fan. And since this is a Seahawks Sunday, I thought I'd point out a few things that I've noticed physicians have in common with pro athletes: </p> <ul> <li>We're competitive, overachieving, and driven.</li> <li>We're constantly measured—and measured up—by all sorts of metrics.</li> <li>We're decisive, making split-second decisions in high-intensity situations.</li> <li>We're team players, depending on each other to get the job done.</li> <li>We're leaders, motivating ourselves and each other to reach our goals.</li> <li>Getting to those goals is a long game … "It's a marathon and not a sprint" as they say. </li> </ul> <p> If you think about it, playing the long game is just what we do at the WSMA. We are not only in the game; we're in it for the long haul. That's what makes us the largest medical association in the state, representing physicians and our physician assistant colleagues, of all specialties from independent practice to large group health systems. </p> <p> I'll give you a few recent examples to demonstrate how we advocate for you and our patients in the long game: </p> <ul> <li>Passing Tobacco 21: We finally pushed House Bill 1074—which raises the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products—over the finish line. But that work did not begin in 2019…our work on achieving that has been years in the making and will save thousands of lives by preventing Washingtonians from taking their first puffs at a young and impressionable age.</li> <li>Balance billing: Our team and your advocacy helped legislate a bill that benefits patients without penalizing physicians. This bill is one of the most physician-friendly balance billing laws in the country. The WSMA negotiated this issue over many years.</li> <li>Our next long-haul battle will be to repeal the business and occupation surcharge that state legislators levied this year on our independent practitioners. That surcharge is 20 percent, which is bad enough, but the WSMA fought hard to keep it from being as high as 67 percent!</li> <li>Also, I've learned from enlightened colleagues about the health impacts of climate change and the scourge of gun violence. While many in our society may not want us to participate in this important dialogue, these issues are in our lane. </li> <li>On every health issue, we want Washington state legislators to ask: "What does the WSMA think?" </li> </ul> <p> Taking these issues on—whether we win or lose—takes a unified team. And that team includes all of you. We're part of an organization that's larger than we are and it's critical that we take that fully to heart. </p> <p> Together, we will do more. </p> <p> In my time on the WSMA Executive Committee, I have seen you fight for administrative simplification, MOC reform, and protection of whistleblowers within corporate health care. </p> <p> Together, we will do more. </p> <p> I believe the biggest threats facing our profession right now are apathy, decreased personal fulfillment, and burnout. </p> <p> We are a strong and thriving association but that's not a birthright, nor is our success a given. </p> <p> You are brilliant and passionate and ready to do more. </p> <p> I ask you now to engage with the WSMA to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. </p> <p> Oh, and go Seahawks! </p> </div>10/14/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
oic_webinar_on_balance_billing_legislationOIC Webinar on Balance Billing LegislationLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20191009/oic_webinar_on_balance_billing_legislation<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/Stethoscope-numbers-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> October 9, 2019 </h5> <h2>OIC Webinar on Balance Billing Legislation</h2> <p> Mark your calendar: On Wednesday, Nov. 13, from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Office of the Insurance Commissioner will host a webinar designed for physicians, providers, and practice staff on implementation of House Bill 1065, the "Balance Billing Protection Act." The WSMA provided guidance to OIC staff on the content of the webinar, which will cover the act's out-of-network provider payment and dispute resolution process, transparency provisions, enforcement, self-funded group health plan participation, and more. The Balance Billing Protection Act takes effect Jan. 1, 2020—make sure you and your practice are prepared by attending this session. Registration details to come; for now, save the date. </p> </div>10/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
the_2019_wsma_annual_meeting_this_weekend_in_seattleThe 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting This Weekend in SeattleLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20191009/the_2019_wsma_annual_meeting_this_weekend_in_seattle<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="WSMA 2019 Annual Meeting graphic" src="/images/Events/2019-Annual-Meeting-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> October 9, 2019 </h5> <h2>The 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting This Weekend in Seattle</h2> <p> If you didn't pre-register for the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">2019 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates</a> but would like to attend, walk-in registration will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. Visit the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">event webpage</a> for a meeting agenda and details of the many activities scheduled during the meeting. For social media users, use the hashtag #WSMAannual on Twitter and Facebook for posts about the meeting—and be sure to follow the WSMA for real-time meeting updates. For those of you attending the meeting, we'll see you in Seattle. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>. </p> </div>10/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_prompted_changes_coming_to_prior_authorizations_this_novemberWSMA-Prompted Changes Coming to Prior Authorizations This NovemberLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20191009/wsma_prompted_changes_coming_to_prior_authorizations_this_november<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Stock.image_2018.youngFmdoctor_w_younggirl_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> October 9, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA-Prompted Changes Coming to Prior Authorizations This November</h2> <p> News on the prior authorization front here in Washington: Starting in November, insurers will be required to offer an online process to submit prior authorization requests for medical services and provide greater transparency regarding required patient criteria, the result of <a href="https://www.insurance.wa.gov/prior-authorization-processes-and-transparency-r-2016-19">state rules</a> that went into effect last year (and initiated by WSMA advocacy). </p> <p> Starting Nov. 1, a <a href="http://priorauth.wsma.org/transparency/">provision of the rule</a> is effective requiring insurers and their third-party administrators to provide physicians a "current and accurate online prior authorization process" to submit requests with patient-specific information needed to determine if a service is a benefit under the enrollee's plan and the information necessary to submit a complete prior authorization request, including if the service is a benefit, if prior authorization is necessary, and what, if any, pre-service requirements apply. If prior authorization is required, the online process must include the clinical criteria used to evaluate the request and required documentation. </p> <p> Other provisions of the prior authorization rule for medical services already in effect include: </p> <ul> <li>For standard prior authorization requests, an insurer must decide within five calendar days. </li> <li>For expedited prior authorization requests, an insurer must decide within two calendar days. </li> <li>Insurers and third-party administrators must have a provision for unforeseen and extenuating circumstances. </li> <li>Insurers are obligated to make sure their TPAs follow the rule's requirements. </li> </ul> <p> To learn more about these requirements, visit the <a href="http://priorauth.wsma.org/">WSMA Prior Authorization Navigator</a>. </p> <p> Also: Beginning in November, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner will be conducting random audits of insurance carriers to help ensure compliance with the state prior authorization rules. The OIC will also be monitoring complaints from its hotline and making referrals to its legal affairs division for enforcement. If you experience an insurance carrier out of compliance, contact the OIC hotline at 800.562.6900. </p> </div>10/9/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
foundation_dinner_and_wampac_luncheonFoundation Dinner & WAMPAC LuncheonLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/foundation_dinner_and_wampac_luncheon<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Events/Foundation-WAMPAC-600px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Foundation Dinner and Rep. Kim Schrier" /></div> <h5>September 30, 2019</h5> <h2>Foundation Dinner & WAMPAC Luncheon</h2> <p> <em>Purchase your tickets in advance before they sell out</em> </p> <h3>WSMA Foundation Dinner & Fundraiser</h3> <p> You are invited to join the second annual WSMA Foundation fundraising dinner on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. during the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting. This fundraising and social event will feature dinner and music, providing an excellent opportunity to mingle with colleagues and WSMA Foundation leaders in a relaxed environment. </p> <p> Tickets to the Foundation dinner are $100. Your generous tax-deductible donations this evening will ensure the WSMA Foundation continues its important work to improve physician wellness and patient care through transformational health care change at all levels—individual, organizational, and statewide. </p> <p> Tickets are available for purchase when registering for the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</a> or by calling Abby Vincent at 206.441.9762. </p> <h3>WAMPAC Luncheon Featuring Rep. Kim Schrier</h3> <p> Each year at the WSMA Annual Meeting, the WAMPAC luncheon aims to inform your understanding of health policy and the political landscape. There may be no better guest to help meet that goal than Rep. Kim Schrier, who represents the state's 8th Congressional District and is Washington's only physician in state or federal office. Join us at the luncheon to get her perspective on serving in Congress and pending health policy issues such as health care reform and the opioid epidemic. </p> <p> The WAMPAC luncheon will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12 starting at 12:30 p.m. Admission to the luncheon is $40 and you can register when <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">registering for the WSMA Annual Meeting</a> or by calling Abby Vincent at 206.441.9762. For members of the WAMPAC Diamond Club, admission is free of charge—our way of saying "thanks" for your investment in WAMPAC, WSMA's non-partisan campaign arm. Just be sure to enter the code WAMPAC19 when registering to redeem your free ticket. </p> <p> Not a member of the Diamond Club? Take the opportunity to <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=665ce949-b574-4ec7-8e5a-7a796233e5d7">join the club today</a>. Unsure of your membership status? Contact Sean Graham at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>9/30/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_30_2019_pathways_to_progressWeekly Rounds: September 30, 2019 - Pathways to ProgressLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_september_30_2019_pathways_to_progress<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>September 30, 2019</h5> <h2>Pathways to Progress</h2> <p> With the return of the rain and the leaves changing to bright orange, there's no doubt that it's fall again. It's hard to believe that it's October already. </p> <p> This is the time of year when I am on the road more often than not. In addition to representing the WSMA in meetings at the local and national level, I also travel around the state to meet with physician and clinic leaders. I value that time especially because it gives us an opportunity to discuss mutual priorities, gather input on WSMA's agenda, and demonstrate that an investment in WSMA on behalf of their physicians is proof that you are valued as a professional. </p> <p> The WSMA plays a unique role in our state's medical ecosystem. We are the largest cohort of physician voices here, and, through our work, we enable physicians to bring their insight, judgment, and credibility to influence care for the betterment of all patients. By creating an environment that puts physicians first, the WSMA forges pathways for thoughtful and creative progress to improve the practice and delivery of care, not only for patients but for the care teams as well. </p> <p> As your CEO, it's a privilege to see this work happen firsthand. I never tire of seeing how the work we do makes the practice of medicine even better. Here are just a few things we're working on currently that I want to share with you: </p> <ul> <li>We are excited about the practice transformation pilot efforts under way under the auspices of the WSMA Foundation. You can read more about it in our <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks">flagship publication here</a>, and I hope you do. This is exciting and ongoing work that we believe will affect real change in alleviating burnout. </li> <li>Several physicians are working with us on the balance billing law and regulations that are about to be implemented in this state. Sean Graham, WSMA's director of government affairs, communicates regularly via email with physicians of all specialties in order to craft input and direction for the Office of Insurance Commissioner, as that office works to implement the new balance billing law. </li> <li>Our 1st Vice President, Nathan Schlicher, MD, and Jeb Shepard, WSMA's director of policy, invest significant time in combing through the state's prescribing data in order to provide opioid prescribing reports to individual physicians that inform their prescribing practices. </li> <li>Earlier this month, we convened hundreds of physicians and providers from across the country for a groundbreaking discussion on physician and practitioner agency in end-of-life care. </li> <li>And as the annual meeting of the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f&WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927">WSMA House of Delegates</a> draws near (Oct. 12-13—I hope to see you there), we will be reviewing and discussing more than 40 resolutions brought forward by physicians and medical students. </li> </ul> <p> All of these member physicians volunteer their time and expertise to make medicine and care delivery better in our state—and the WSMA gives them the vehicle to do this work. </p> <p> Granted, not all of our members are able to directly engage in this work, but even so, the WSMA makes sure each is represented and informed. But we can't do this without you and/or your group's investment in us. If you are in a group that covers your WSMA dues, I'm personally inviting you to take a moment today to encourage your leadership to continue this investment on your behalf. And when you're ready to personally get engaged, we're here for you. I hope to see you during my travels. </p> <p> And now for some quick news you may have missed: </p> <ul> <li>You'll want to check out <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/Legislative_Regulatory.aspx?hkey=c0dc6e7c-4385-497a-99db-4a6b6f4e56bd#new">these new laws</a> that impact medicine and/or your practice.</li> <li>To find out more about public option and balance billing, see these <a href="http://www.wsha.org/wp-content/uploads/2019-Post-Session-Webinar-Public-Option-Balance-Billing-06-19-19-FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">webinar slides</a>. For questions, contact Sean Graham at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>. </li> <li>For more information on the Omnibus Burden Reduction Final Rule issued last Thursday and intended by CMS to advance its Patients Over Paperwork initiative, read the <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-puts-patients-over-paperwork-reducing-healthcare-administrative-costs">press release</a> and <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/omnibus-burden-reduction-conditions-participation-final-rule-cms-3346-f">fact sheet</a>. </li> <li>The Health Care Authority's "Find a Provider" tool may show you as an "active" Medicaid provider even if you are no longer accepting new patients. Update your information following the directions <a href="https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/billers-and-providers/fs_removingacceptingnewpatientsfrombpw.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</li> <li>Be aware! The Washington Medical Commission <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190814/scam_alert_fraudulent_calls_targeting_clinics_and_physician_offices">reports</a> that scam artists are calling physician practices posing as the medical board. The WMC will never call you asking for your DEA number or looking for payment. If you believe your practice has been targeted, please contact the WMC at <a href="mailto:hsqa.csc@doh.wa.gov">hsqa.csc@doh.wa.gov</a>. </li> <li>The DOH has issued <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/doh_issues_new_clarification_on_state_opioid_rules_for_chronic_opioid_therapy">new clarification</a> on state opioid rules for chronic opioid therapy.</li> </ul> <p> That's it for now! Thanks for reading and enjoy the onset of another lovely Washington fall season. </p> </div>9/30/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
2019_wsma_annual_meeting_registration_deadline_cme_info_and_more2019 WSMA Annual Meeting: Registration Deadline, CME Info and MoreLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/2019_wsma_annual_meeting_registration_deadline_cme_info_and_more<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="WSMA 2019 Annual Meeting graphic" src="/images/Events/2019-Annual-Meeting-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 25, 2019 </h5> <h2>2019 WSMA Annual Meeting: Registration Deadline, CME Info and More</h2> <p> Two weeks and change remain until the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting, WSMA's premier policymaking and networking event. If you have yet to register for the meeting, scheduled for Oct. 12-13 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center, <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">do so soon</a>; online registration ends at midnight, Tuesday, Oct. 8. The meeting is free for WSMA members and members of the Washington State Radiological Society, which will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 12 and has joined the WSMA in co-sponsoring a series of educational sessions throughout the day. </p> <p> If you're joining us at the meeting, be sure to catch the following highlights: </p> <ul> <li>The WAMPAC luncheon (Saturday at 12:30 p.m.), featuring Democratic Congresswoman <strong>Kim Schrier, MD</strong> (D-Issaquah), Washington state's only physician in state or federal office. Tickets to the luncheon are available when registering for the meeting.</li> <li>Keynote presentation: "Healthcare 3.0: How Technology is Driving the Transition to Prosumers, Platforms, and Outsurance" with <strong>Rubin Pillay, MD, PhD</strong>, chief innovation officer of the health system at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.</li> <li>"Physician Leadership and the Urgency of the Moment in Medicine" presented by AMA President <strong>Patrice Harris, MD</strong>.</li> <li>Meeting reception/WSMA presidential inauguration (Saturday at 5:30 p.m.), honoring incoming president, <strong>William Hirota, MD</strong>.</li> <li>A full slate of CME sessions on Saturday afternoon.</li> <li>The WSMA Foundation Banquet (Saturday at 7 p.m.). This fundraising and social event will feature dinner and music, providing an excellent opportunity to mingle with colleagues and WSMA Foundation leaders in a relaxed environment. Tickets to the banquet are available when registering for the meeting.</li> <li>Effective Board Governance Course (Friday, 1–5 p.m.), a pre-annual meeting CME presented by the WSMA and offering in-depth governance training for prospective and current physician board members. <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Effective_Board_Governance/WSMA/Resources/Physician_Leadership/Effective_Board_Governance/Effective_Board_Governance.aspx?hkey=cc39ba1a-3687-4a68-9b3a-bd9a9ecdf53f">Separate registration is required</a>. </li> </ul> <p> For more information on these and other meeting highlights, visit the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">WSMA Annual Meeting webpage</a>. This activity has been approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™</em>. </p> </div>9/25/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
doh_issues_new_clarification_on_state_opioid_rules_for_chronic_opioid_therapyDOH Issues New Clarification on State Opioid Rules for Chronic Opioid TherapyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/doh_issues_new_clarification_on_state_opioid_rules_for_chronic_opioid_therapy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Concepts/opiates_hydrocodone_645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Hydocodone pills" /> </div> <h5> September 25, 2019 </h5> <h2>DOH Issues New Clarification on State Opioid Rules for Chronic Opioid Therapy</h2> <p> The Department of Health has issued new guidance and clarification to prescribers on the state's new opioid rules in response to reports of patients on chronic opioid therapy being rapidly tapered and others unable to find physicians and other providers willing to care for them. </p> <p> In the letter dated Sept. 25, the DOH states the state's new opioid rules do not set a regulatory limit on the daily dosage of opioids that can be prescribed in the state: </p> <p> "Under Washington State rules, if a healthcare provider believes a patient being treated for chronic pain needs more than 120 mg MME per day to adequately address their pain, the healthcare provider is generally required to consult with a pain specialist. There are multiple mechanisms for accomplishing the consult requirement described in the rules, and the rules provide an exception to this consult requirement." </p> <p> For more clarification from DOH on treating chronic pain patients in the context of state rules, <a href="https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WADOH/2019/09/25/file_attachments/1292295/Clarification-opioid-rules_9-20-2019.pdf" target="_blank">read the full letter</a>. With questions please contact Jeb Shepard at <a href="mailto:jeb@wsma.org">jeb@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>9/25/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
outburst_of_vaping_related_illnesses_spur_federal_and_state_effortsOutburst of Vaping-Related Illnesses Spur Federal and State EffortsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/outburst_of_vaping_related_illnesses_spur_federal_and_state_efforts<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Concepts/tobacco_vaping_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Vaping" /> </div> <h5> September 25, 2019 </h5> <h2>Outburst of Vaping-Related Illnesses Spur Federal and State Efforts</h2> <p> Six cases of vaping-related illness have now been reported in Washington state, adding to the over 500 cases nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here's the latest on the federal response to this growing public health concern as well as a look at efforts by the Washington Thoracic Society to stem the surge in vaping among Washington youth. </p> <p> The Food & Drug Administration and the CDC are working closely with state and local health officials to investigate incidents of severe respiratory illnesses associated with the use of vaping products. The FDA has issued a consumer update strongly recommending that the public avoid purchasing vaping products of any kind on the street and to refrain from using vaping products containing THC. </p> <p> For physicians and health care providers, the <a href="https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/lung-illnesses-associated-use-vaping-products?utm_source=Eloqua&utm_medium=email&utm_term=stratcomms&utm_content=landingpage&utm_campaign=CTPNews%26Connect%26SOS%3A%20Vaping%20Illness%20-%2091219#Healthcare">FDA is encouraging clinicians</a> to: </p> <ul> <li>Report possible cases of vaping-associated respiratory illness to their local or state health department for further investigation. </li> <li>Obtain a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used if vaping product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient's lung illness. Efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing. </li> </ul> <p> See this <a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00421.asp">CDC advisory</a> for detailed information about the outbreak, including clinical features of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms and specific reporting recommendations for clinicians. </p> <p> While these vaping-related illnesses are as of yet rare in Washington, our state is seeing a dramatic rise in youth e-cigarette use, as last year alone there was a 78 percent increase in high school kids vaping, according to CDC data. To reach youth where they are, the American Lung Association in Washington has partnered with the Washington Thoracic Society to offer local schools a new program to support and educate students about the risks of e-cigarette use as an alternative to school suspension. Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health (INDEPTHTM) is a new, convenient alternative to suspension program that helps schools address the teen vaping problem in a supportive way. The Lung Association in Washington is looking to partner with 20 schools across Washington to help students. Schools can sign up for the program at <a href="https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/helping-teens-quit/indepth.html">lung.org/indepth</a>. More information about e-cigarettes and lung health can be found at <a href="https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html">lung.org/ecigs</a>, including resources to help prevent teens from starting and to help them quit. </p> </div>9/25/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_joins_wc_aap_and_national_partners_to_oppose_public_charge_ruleWSMA Joins WC-AAP and National Partners to Oppose Public Charge RuleLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190925/wsma_joins_wc_aap_and_national_partners_to_oppose_public_charge_rule<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/stockimage_2017doctorwithtoddler_645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 25, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Joins WC-AAP and National Partners to Oppose Public Charge Rule</h2> <p> The WSMA has joined the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association to support a multi-state lawsuit opposing federal changes to the "public charge" rule that targets low-income immigrants and their families. </p> <p> Under the new rule, set to go into effect Oct. 15, a legal immigrant who lawfully uses basic health care services, housing, and food assistance programs in Washington state and elsewhere in the U.S. can now have their application for permanent residency denied. Even individuals who have not used these programs, which include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Section 8 housing vouchers, and Medicare Part D, can be denied a green card or visa if there is a suspected risk they are "likely" to use them in the future. </p> <p> Washington estimates that more than 140,000 legal immigrants will likely lose their health insurance under the new rule. While those under age 21, pregnant women, and new moms are exempt from the rule, families will likely refrain from applying for services they need out of fear it would be used against the immigrant parent. Nearly a half million children in Washington have at least one immigrant parent. </p> <p> "This rule change effectively says to these individuals, 'Want to see a doctor? Well guess what—the federal government will probably kick you out if you do,'" said WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, in a <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/physicians_unite_to_oppose_trump_administration_immigration_policy">joint WSMA/WCAAP press release</a> issued this week. "This will undeniably add another barrier between those who need health care and their physicians." </p> <p> Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is helping to lead a coalition of 13 states <a href="https://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/washington-co-leads-multistate-lawsuit-against-dhs-rule-targeting-immigrant">in the lawsuit</a> to block the new public charge rule. The WCAAP, WSMA, AAP, ACP, and the AMA filed an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit last week. </p> </div>9/25/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
physicians_unite_to_oppose_trump_administration_immigration_policyPhysicians Unite to Oppose Trump Administration Immigration PolicyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/physicians_unite_to_oppose_trump_administration_immigration_policy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img alt="" src="/images/Misc/Press-Release-Graphic_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" /></div> <h5>September 24, 2019</h5> <h2>Physicians Unite to Oppose Trump Administration Immigration Policy</h2> <p> <em>Thousands of children and families in Washington state and the U.S. will lose access to health care under new "public charge" rule</em> </p> <p> SEATTLE - Two of Washington state's leading physician associations have joined with their national counterparts to push back against Trump administration efforts to restrict immigration by punishing legal immigrants - including more than 140,000 Washingtonians and their children - who access health care and other basic public services. </p> <p> The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP) and the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), together representing more than 11,000 physicians in the state, have joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association to file a brief supporting a multi-state lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over changes to the "public charge" rule that target low-income immigrants and their families. </p> <p> The updated rule, set to go into effect Oct. 15, gives immigration officials far greater latitude to deny green cards and visas to immigrants lawfully in the U.S., particularly those who access legally available public benefits for themselves and their families, including essential health care services. </p> <p> Currently, under long-standing immigration policy, the only benefits considered by the federal government when reviewing immigration status are cash assistance and government-funded long-term care. Under the new rule, a legal immigrant who lawfully uses basic health care services, housing and food assistance programs can have their application for permanent residency denied. </p> <p> Even people who have not used these programs, which include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Section 8 housing vouchers, and Medicare Part D, can be denied a green card or visa if there is a suspected risk they are "likely" to use them in the future. </p> <p> "This cruelly misguided attempt to stem legal immigration unfairly targets some of our most vulnerable patients by singling out low-income immigrants who are lawfully in the state trying to attain citizenship and who are trying to take care of themselves and their families. This rule change effectively says to these individuals, 'Want to see a doctor? Well guess what—the federal government will probably kick you out if you do.'" said WSMA President Tom Schaaf, MD, MHA. "This will undeniably add another barrier between those who need health care and their physicians. And perhaps most unconscionable is that this rule change will directly impact the children of immigrants, who were born in Washington and are U.S. citizens." </p> <p> Washington estimates that more than 140,000 legal immigrants will likely lose their health insurance under the new rule. The rule's impact goes further: Nearly a half million children in Washington have at least one immigrant parent. Under the new rule, while those under age 21, pregnant women, and new moms are exempt, families will likely refrain from applying for services they need out of fear it would be used against the immigrant parent. Many of these people will go to the emergency room for routine medical care, requiring Washington to cover the vastly more expensive medical costs. Moreover, families who fear seeking timely preventive care for their children may be less likely to receive vaccinations on time or identify emerging medical issues, leading to poorer health and development for these children. </p> <p> Nationwide, the rule will affect more than 19 million children of immigrants in the U.S.; nearly all U.S. citizens. </p> <p> "Each day, WCAAP members care for immigrant families across our state who are doing all they can to build better lives for their children" said WCAAP President Elizabeth Meade, MD, FAAP. "We are certain that this regulation change will result in families foregoing medical care or other services they are entitled to for fear of impacting their immigration status. Children need stable housing, adequate nutrition, and access to health care to grow and thrive, and losing access to any of these threatens their well-being and development." </p> <p> Washington state, led by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, has joined a coalition of 13 states in the lawsuit to block the new public charge rule. The WCAAP, WSMA, AAP, ACP, and the AMA filed the amicus brief supporting the lawsuit last week. </p> <p> <strong>For more information, contact:</strong> </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Washington State Medical Association<br /> Associate Director of Communications<br /> Cell: 206.329.6851<br /> Email: <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p> Jennifer Donahue<br /> Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics<br /> Communications Manager<br /> Cell: 206.713.1087<br /> Email: <a href="mailto:jdonahue@wcaap.org">jdonahue@wcaap.org</a> </p> <h3>About the Washington State Medical Association </h3> <p> The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine for more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. </p> </div>9/24/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_september_16_2019_five_things_to_know_while_prepping_for_seahawks_seasonWeekly Rounds: September 16, 2019 - Five Things to Know While Prepping for Seahawks SeasonLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2019/weekly_rounds_september_16_2019_five_things_to_know_while_prepping_for_seahawks_season<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>September 16, 2019</h5> <h2>Five Things to Know While Prepping for Seahawks Season</h2> <p> Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO </p> <p> I'm beginning to appreciate the demands of a grueling travel schedule. While my travels are nothing like those of an NFL team, it sure has been busy lately. Over the past three weeks, I've traveled to Spokane, Vancouver, and Bellingham with our <a href="https://vimeo.com/359807313">WSMA Road Trips</a>, designed to connect with our members face to face. As always, it was great to connect in person with the people who make the WSMA what it is! </p> <p> At the moment, I'm on the East Coast. I'm at The Heller School at Brandeis University to participate in an annual Physicians Foundation leadership program, to be followed by a trip to North Carolina with several WSMA members and their dyad partners to work on physician wellness (see below). And when I return to Washington, I'll be meeting with physician and medical group leaders throughout the state, sharing WSMA's 2020 agenda, learning what's on their priority list, and hopefully, gaining their commitment for a group investment in WSMA membership. </p> <p> We are a member-driven organization and as such, we focus our resources on areas where we can help improve your professional development and the practice of medicine in Washington state. We believe this will lead us to our vision of making Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. Here are some of the areas where we are focusing our attention. </p> <h3>Working on physician wellness</h3> <p> As part of our work to test practice interventions that could improve wellness, I'll be heading to Charlotte, NC, this week along with our eight grantee organizations for the American Conference on Physician Health. The <a href="https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-fights-burnout-new-practice-transformation-initiative">WSMA and our pilot practices are seeking to drive improvements through the Practice Transformation Initiative being led by the AMA with support from the Physicians Foundation</a>. Our groups will work with national experts to identify solutions and share best practices for improving the clinician experience and meaningful change at the practice level. Check out the <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks">September/October edition of WSMA Reports</a> to learn more. </p> <h3>Opposing B&O tax increase</h3> <p> We are as distressed by the 20 percent surcharge on business and occupation taxes as are the businesses—and physicians—impacted by it. We are aggressively opposed to the surcharge, which impacted independent physician practices and clinics. I realize it's small comfort to know that the tax could have been much higher—an increase of 67 percent was originally proposed. While the legislature reduced the impact to a 20 percent tax hike, it's still a significant financial burden for independent physicians and practices. </p> <p> Rest assured, the WSMA has not given up. We will continue to vehemently oppose this surcharge and intend to use the interim to build momentum to overturn the surcharge in the 2020 session. It will take a village to get that done, so we will need your help to make it happen. We are asking you to keep the pressure on local legislators by meeting with them now to express the impact this tax will have on your practice and on access to care for patients in our communities. Nothing moves legislators more than personal stories of how the ripple effect of their actions impacts your business and the lives of your patients. <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative___Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/WSMA/Advocacy/Legislative_Regulatory/No_to_B_and_O/no_to_b_and_o_.aspx?hkey=d5807781-a824-4b2c-a8f4-70ed597ddfa8">Talking points can be found here</a>. If you are unsure how to connect with your local legislator, contact Alex Wehinger at <a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</a>. </p> <h3>Raising the physician voice…and PAC funds</h3> <p> In many ways, the state Legislature wasn't friendly to physician interests in the 2019 legislative session. This must change in 2020. One way we can make that happen is through WAMPAC, the nonpartisan campaign arm of WSMA that builds relationships and connections between our members and their elected officials. WAMPAC works to ensure the physician's voice is heard, but it takes resources to do this effectively. </p> <p> With the 2020 election just around the corner, we need to double down to ensure candidates hear the physician voice loud and clear on the campaign trail. To that end, we're mounting a campaign to bolster the coffers. We're asking you to give $20 today to make a difference in 2020 – and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Take action right now to join our <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC/WSMA/Advocacy/WAMPAC/Give_to_WAMPAC.aspx?hkey=665ce949-b574-4ec7-8e5a-7a796233e5d7">$20 for 2020 Campaign by clicking here to donate</a>. </p> <p> Whether your gift is a one-time donation or ongoing commitment, help us advance an advocacy agenda that bolsters the profession and improves patient care throughout Washington. Your contribution really does make a difference! </p> <h3>Preventing acupuncturist scope expansion</h3> <p> The Department of Health is conducting a sunrise review of a proposal from the Washington Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Association to <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/AboutUs/ProgramsandServices/HealthSystemsQualityAssurance/SunriseReviews/SunriseReviewinProgress">increase the scope of practice for acupuncturists and Eastern Medicine practitioners</a>. The proposal would broaden these practitioners' ability to diagnose and treat disease, treat substance use disorder, include additional substances for point injection therapy, and more. </p> <p> While the WSMA supports and encourages the use of integrative modalities like acupuncture, especially in the context of pain management, we have serious patient safety concerns with some of the proposed scope expansions under consideration and are on the record in opposition. In fact, WSMA Policy Director Jeb Shepard testified at a recent public hearing on the proposal and the WSMA submitted a formal comment detailing our concerns. Proponents of the sunrise review have been responsive to our concerns and are working with WSMA staff to address them. </p> <h3>Holding the Medical Commission accountable for licensure delays </h3> <p> Our members brought us concerns about licensure delays and we've taken action. We reached out to the Medical Commission to learn more about the cause. In a formal response to our inquiry, the Commission indicated staffing shortages and an increasing number of applications and delegation agreements have created challenges for them to keep their application times under their average time of approximately 10 weeks. </p> <p> Subsequently, the Commission took several steps to mitigate the situation, including reassigning staff from different areas to assist with applications, completing recruitment for current openings, and authorizing overtime until performance returns to normal. </p> <p> However, if you continue to have trouble with the licensing process, hearing from you helps us advocate for you. Contact Jeb Shepard at <a href="mailto:jeb@wsma.org">jeb@wsma.org</a> with your experiences. </p> <p> Also, the Commission noted that ensuring you've submitted a complete application is key to swift licensure. They recommend that you use the Federation Credentials Verification Services provided through the Federation of State Medical Boards. Applicants who use the FCVS establish a permanent portfolio of verified credentials and all their records are kept in one repository. </p> <p> With that, I'll refocus my thoughts now on the leadership development experience at Brandeis. Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for your engagement with the WSMA. I'm grateful for our partnership! </p> </div>9/16/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
countdown_to_the_2019_wsma_annual_meetingCountdown to the 2019 WSMA Annual MeetingLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/countdown_to_the_2019_wsma_annual_meeting<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Events/2019-Annual-Meeting-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>Countdown to the 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting</h2> <p> The 2019 WSMA Annual Meeting, WSMA's premier policymaking and networking event, is nearly here. If you have yet to register for the meeting, scheduled for Oct. 12-13 in Seattle, <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">do so today</a>. The meeting is free for WSMA members and members of the Washington State Radiological Society, which will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 12, and has joined the WSMA in co-sponsoring a series of educational sessions throughout the day. Here's what members should know as the meeting approaches. </p> <ol> <li>Today (Sept. 11) is the deadline to receive the special discounted room rate at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.</li> <li>Tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 12) is the final deadline for WSMA delegates to submit resolutions to the WSMA Seattle office. </li> <li>The 2019 Delegate Handbook—the compilation of resolutions and other business to be considered by the House of Delegates at the meeting—is now available for <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f#handbook">download from the WSMA website</a>.</li> <li>40 resolutions are now available in our password-protected <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Reference_Committees_and_General_Discussion/WSMA/Membership/Discussion_Forums/Reference_Committees_and_General_Forum.aspx?hkey=d674a5ae-4fb5-48d6-b969-16aab9b63647">"virtual" reference committees</a>. WSMA members are encouraged to take a moment to review these proposals and provide input, which is crucial to shaping good policy.</li> </ol> <p> For a full agenda, speaker and activity detail and to register for the WSMA Annual Meeting, visit the <a href="https://wsma.org/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/WSMA/Events/Annual_Meeting/Annual_Meeting.aspx?hkey=fea49254-3815-4dc9-8710-53ff2e3a100f">WSMA website</a>. </p> <p> The WSMA would like to thank our corporate partners for helping to make the meeting possible: exclusive premier partner <a href="http://www.phyins.com/">Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company</a>, and silver partners <a href="http://www.premera.com/">Premera Blue Cross</a>, <a href="https://www.fchn.com/">First Choice Health</a>, <a href="http://www.hallrender.com/">Hall Render</a> and <a href="https://www.wpmgcareers.org/index.html">Kaiser Permanente</a>. The WSMA also wishes to thank the following meeting sponsor for its generous contributions: platinum sponsor <a href="https://www.providence.org/">Providence Health & Services</a>. </p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
new_effective_date_for_changes_to_apple_health_opioid_prescribing_policyNew Effective Date for Changes to Apple Health Opioid Prescribing PolicyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/new_effective_date_for_changes_to_apple_health_opioid_prescribing_policy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/opioid_hydrocodone_bottle-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>New Effective Date for Changes to Apple Health Opioid Prescribing Policy</h2> <p> The Health Care Authority has changed the implementation date from Oct.1 to Nov. 1, 2019 for updates to its Apple Health (Medicaid) opioid clinical policy intended to align the policy with the federal SUPPORT Act passed in 2018. </p> <p> While the prescribing policy remains largely unchanged, there are some significant new requirements, including: An attestation that chronic pain best practices are being followed when prescribing more than the acute policy limit within a 90-day period, and prior authorization on claims that exceed 120 morphine milligram equivalent (MME) limit. The expedited prior authorization provision, secured by the WSMA, remains in effect. </p> <p> Visit the <a href="https://www.hca.wa.gov/billers-providers-partners/programs-and-services/opioids">HCA website</a> to review the changes. </p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_joins_the_ama_in_new_practice_transformation_initiativeWSMA Joins the AMA in New Practice Transformation InitiativeLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20190911/wsma_joins_the_ama_in_new_practice_transformation_initiative<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Sept-Oct-Reports-Cover-Story-Image-RGB-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> September 11, 2019 </h5> <h2>WSMA Joins the AMA in New Practice Transformation Initiative </h2> <p> The AMA has announced a new effort to fight the causes of physician burnout and dissatisfaction with the launch of the Practice Transformation Initiative. The ambitious initiative is a collaborative effort that includes the Physicians Foundation and state medical societies, including the WSMA. </p> <p> While the frequency, causes, and impact of professional fatigue and burnout among physicians have been well researched, actionable solutions have had much less rigorous analysis. As a result, information on effective interventions remains limited. The mission of the Practice Transformation Initiative is to fill the knowledge gaps regarding effective interventions to reduce burnout. </p> <p> The AMA and the Physicians Foundation are collaborating with the WSMA, among other state associations, to recruit health systems and practices within their states for field testing and studying results, with the goal of generating evidence-based research and accelerating the spread of innovations that support clinician satisfaction. </p> <p> The WSMA has convened eight health care organizations in Washington to test burnout interventions as part of the initiative. For an in-depth look at this work, be sure to read the cover story from the latest issue of WSMA Reports, mailed to members last week. The cover story is also <a href="https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2019/September/ending_death_by_a_million_clicks">available online</a>. </p> <p> For more information on the initiative, visit the <a href="https://www.ama-assn.org/amaone/practice-transformation">AMA website</a>.<br /> <br /> <em>Illustration by Erin Foster with images from Freepik.com.</em></p> </div>9/11/2019 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
 

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